Sometimes, while I'm typing, random thoughts flit through my mind (I was a professional typist once, and have been clocked at 111 wpm in a job interview years ago). As I was keying in my past-life work from 1831, this morning, one thought came-and-went which almost convinced me to stop and key in an Update; but I have so much work to do, I resisted. Then a little later, another one--and they both inform each other, so perhaps it is time to set them both down.
It is now 5:30 in the morning, and I've been working for an hour and a half. Come 10:00, and my caretaking day starts. During that time, I often have the TV on as background noise, but I try to find something that isn't cruel or violent (so as to keep the vibes up in the room), and if at all possible, something interesting to relieve the boredom for myself. I enjoy the "American Pickers" on History Channel--they remind me of the radio brothers on Car Talk, "Click and Clack." So they have found a bass that is reputed to have belonged to Bill Black, bassist for Elvis Presley. Here, they are having it appraised, and it just doesn't add up. It's from the right era, but all the details are wrong, even though it superficially looks right. Where it should have a stripe along the rim, it has thumb tacks. It's too small, etc. etc. Turns out it's an imitation, not to fool anyone, but rather created in admiration--a "fantasy piece," I think they called it.
This is relevant to what I'm doing, here, in this sense--if my past-life memories, speculations and theories hadn't checked out upon close scrutiny, I would have said so. They have, and I report them, accordingly. My evidence is here for people to see; that they don't avail themselves of the opportunity, with a fair mind (or for that matter, with any mind), is not my look-out. This example of the bass fiddle is off-target, on the other hand, as regards getting expert appraisals. I've tried that twice, or actually three times, and the experts are prejudiced against me, and don't actually know as much on the subject as I do. This sounds absurd, especially since one of them is a world leader in the field. But keep in mind that I have studied reincarnation, as part-and-parcel of Eastern mysticism, since around 1973. I have studied the Western research into reincarnation since beginning work on my documentary, "In Another Life," since 1997. So that is over 40 years of expertise. The world expert, himself, may not have 40 years of expertise. Then there is the matter of my sources, which I deem the best possible, but others might dispute. That's a discussion for another day.
The second "flit" was a PBS promo. Turns out they are running a special about Edgar Allan Poe. He is seen there (i.e., an actor playing him), in very dramatic candlelight, reciting "Nevermore," and then the light is blown out (as I recall). Except that Poe didn't write "The Raven." He stole it, or claimed it after it was first published. I wrote that, as Mathew Franklin Whittier, in grief for my soul-mate and first wife, Abby.
It's obvious for anyone with a shred of discernment that Poe couldn't have written it. This is not a horror poem, folks, it's a real grief poem, written by someone who had been taught by his superstitious New England Quaker mother that ravens were a symbol of death; and who, being brought up on a farm with the then-fashionable "toughening training," faced grief as he had been taught to face all hardship and suffering, i.e., with humor. It was written by someone who had written in that style, before--and to whom that style was quite natural. It was written by someone who had been taught the occult by his late wife; but who, starting out as a skeptic, wasn't quite sure he could believe it. In short, there is a deep context for Mathew being the author of this poem, whereas there is only the flimsiest of rationales given by Poe, in his explanation of how he supposedly came to write it (i.e. when he wasn't even grieving). In other words, what "Everybody" has taken as the truth in this matter makes no sense; but what I'm presenting makes perfect sense.
Here's where the bass fiddle comes in. It if had turned out to be a "fantasy piece," I would have honestly told you. It turned out to be the real thing.
This is interesting...signing as "Franklin, Jr.," Mathew wrote this introduction to a sample of the poetry of 18th century British poet Francis Quarles:
Sound like me? Aside from the fact that, as I've said before, I still have exactly the same higher mind, don't worry about how I know it's his. All the supporting evidence for that is in the book. He has signed with his middle name before; "Jr." apparently means that the author admires the person so-named, i.e., that he is a chip off the old block, as it were. Mathew loves old, obscure works--I have several instances where he mentions his fondness for them. He will use dozens and dozens of pseudonyms in the course of his career, most or all with hidden meanings, including, in the early 1850's, "Quails" (who was not Ossian Dodge, as the historians say). Now, here is an image of the opening to the original publication of "The Raven." Note that the "correspondent" is not named, and that it is signed with the pseudonym, "----- Quarles." Note also the opening observation of "some ludicrous touches amidst the serious and impressive." I could literally give you hundreds of examples of this admixture in Mathew's works. It was his signature style, deeply embedded in his personality. Only here, this is his humor brought to bear in the darkest period of his life, the loss of his true love.
This is neither my only evidence, nor even my best evidence. The essay and sample by "Franklin, Jr." appears in the April, 1832 edition of a Boston monthly magazine called "The Essayist." The image is scanned from a commercially-available reprint, though I have a copy of the original. Elsewhere, in 1846, Mathew briefly quotes "Quarles," i.e., Francis Quarles, in a context which makes it very clear he is hinting that he was the real author of "The Raven." The quote has to do with ethics and one's reputation, and is precisely on-point. I know it was Mathew, because it appears directly under one of his known sketches--and this was his MO. He would juxtapose the pieces he wrote under different pseudonyms, or even anonymously, in such a way as to convey additional meaning. (He was personal friends with the editors, and in some cases actually worked for the newspaper, so he could request this.) For example, he might write in a humorous vein about romance, only to sandwich it between grief poems, in such a way as to indicate that the humorous piece was actually dedicated to his late wife. I have dozens of examples, so that this is not a matter of guesswork. Taken in context with the rest of my evidence, the meaning of the quote, in 1846, is clear enough. And there are two more strong pieces of evidence I won't go into, here.
Isn't it annoying when someone claims to have "hundreds" of examples, and won't give you even one? Here is one for you, again, out of hundreds, although this is perhaps one of the best. But I have to give some background. This is 1852, 11 years after Abby's death. Mathew is workin as a "reporter" (i.e., a comic reporter) for the Boston "Carpet-Bag," a humor magazine roughly patterned on Britain's "Punch." In actuality, he has a financial interest in this paper, and is producing, under a number of different of pseudonyms, a significant portion of the work. He attended the London World's Fair, in the Crystal Palace, the previous year, writing as "Quails" for the Boston "Weekly Museum" (historians, once again, will tell you this was an entertainer named Ossian Dodge). A panorama was kind of like a movie--you sat in the theatre, and a very large scroll (as I suppose) of a particular place would run in front of you. Mathew has set the scene in the theatre, and has described the images that are going past him; but suddenly he sees something he had missed when he attended the actual fair--a statue which vividly reminds him of his late wife, Abby, not long before her death of consumption, and just after their 8-month-old daughter Sarah had died. Seeing the statue, he has a sudden spirit contact with her--which at first, of course, he doubts--and then that night, a full visitation dream. Running into the image of this statue, then, may be classed as a "sign," and it may well have been, given that his flat would soon be burned down due, I believe, to opposition to his satires; and he would discover he had been betrayed by Ossian Dodge and Charles Putnam, the editor of the "Museum."* The visitation dream was, apparently, by way of support (I located it in another of Mathew's quasi-humorous productions). I did find the statue, by the way, and there is a marked resemblance of the model to what I have all but proven as Abby's historical portrait. There are many significant aspects to this poem, not the least of which is the powerful subjective reaction produced within myself, as I read it, today. But what's particularly relevant, here, is first of all how well it is written; and secondly, how Mathew deftly weaves humor into a very, very serious presentation. Actually, it is not quite that he weaves humor into it--humor is his emotional shield. He lets his powerful feelings impact his deeply sensitive nature (which was not considered a manly virtue in the 19th century) through this shield of humor--just as he did in "The Raven." This excerpt is from the first of a four-part series.
But turning from the pomp of power,
Which well may claim a brighter hour,
My muse, being out of sorts to-day,
Will better sing a pensive lay,
To cheer a lovelorn maiden's bower;
And in your next I'll try a stave
About the transept and the nave,
And then run on through each division,
(Divisions where no discord reigned!)
And wind up all the Exhibition
With what our gallant clipper gained.
In one side scene, withdrawn from sight,
The "Nymph of Lurleibergh" is sitting,
I think you'll find her on the right,
She holds a lute, and not her knitting,
And in her wild, dejected air
I seemed to read a fixed despair,
That blinded me to all the glare
Of pomp and pride that glistened there.
Some memory of the past came o'er me,
And days long vanished rose before me;
I thought--no matter what I thought—
Such dreams as mine are lightly wrought,
And, lightly made, as lightly shivered;
And now it seemed as if in truth
A beam of light that gleamed and quivered
Upon the silvery tide of youth
Came back to cheer, and not in vain,
A spirit dulled with voiceless pain;
And as I pressed my couch at night,
Her image hovering round me seemed,
And at the first of morning light
I jotted down the things I dreamed,
And once again to slumber sunk,
With chattering teeth, your friend, A. Trunk.
I cannot read this through without crying. Think what you will. On some deep level, I remember it.
Now, as for PBS, for some reason they seem to align themselves with the ignorant position on just about everything that I know, from my 40 years of study, is real. Often this goes to their support of philosophical Materialism, i.e., materialistic Humanism. But sometimes it is just, how would you say it, political correctness, or fashion. "Public" in Public Television means fashion--i.e., the public consciousness, or what everybody-has-decided-is-real. If any fringe ideas are presented there, they are presented apologetically, and damned with faint praise. At least, that's what I see. And you are unlikely to see me saying that Mathew Franklin Whittier wrote "The Raven," as I am interviewed by PBS's Jeffrey Brown, or on a "Brief But Spectacular" segment.
Come to think of it, weren't they running promos for a show which purportedly would startle people by looking at both sides of an issue? I forget the name of it--but what happened to it? Maybe it was real, and God help us, we can't have anything really open-minded on there.
PBS has done this before, with Benjamin Franklin, and I was able to absolutely refute them:
Mathew greatly admired his namesake. Perhaps that's why PBS's special on Benjamin Franklin rubbed me the wrong way as much as it did. Okay, NOVA showcases a scientist who debunks the levitation theory of how the Moai were moved in Easter Island, by "walking" his one-fifth replica with men and ropes--even though he doesn't explain how they could have gotten them on a platform directly side-by-side, as we see them, today (an impossibility, I think, using his method, even if the scale difference could be solved). Talk about something not checking out.
But this depiction of Benjamin Franklin really got me hot under the collar, before I had given much thought as to how Mathew would have reacted. I tell you, half of your emotional reactions, today, are past life emotional memory. You could see this if you understood how past-life therapy works. I have studied that field, as well; and much of my study is informed by their clinical results and methods. For example, the late pioneering past-life therapist Roger Woolger, explained that he used the "affect bridge" to access past-life memories for his clients, without the use of hypnosis. Therefore, I, too, am using--or at least observing--this same affect bridge in my study.
The world leader in reincarnation studies won't even avail himself of the rich body of knowledge which has come from past-life therapy, out of sheer prejudice against hypnosis. But Woolger didn't use hypnosis.
Again, I leave you with my proof that Franklin believed in reincarnation--play the video, read the whole page, it's short. It also stands as my proof that PBS's very expensive, slick production was fundamentally wrong. They are wrong about this new one on Poe, as well, believe me.
Oh, here's something Mathew wrote in 1838 for the Amesbury, Mass. "News and Courier"--let's see if I have a whole image of it. He did not, as I gather, believe in reincarnation at this time, being a skeptic in his youth. But his young wife, Abby, who was well conversant with mysticism and the occult, was working on him! Note that he reproduces Franklin's young epitaph, versions of which (Franklin wrote several versions, apparently) have been used to infer that he believed in reincarnation. Mathew specifically emphasizes, in italics, the words "on high." I suspect that the entire article was prompted by a disagreement between him and Abby, as she tried to teach him about reincarnation, and in exasperation, used Franklin's epitaph as an example that would impress him. Here, he is arguing with her that Franklin meant that he would be a "new and improved version" in heaven, not back on earth. But if Mathew had seen the evidence I discovered in Franklin's elderly correspondence (presented in the page linked above), I think he would have had to "say uncle."
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
*It was an even more powerful sign, if you consider that Abby seems to have playfully styled herself as a river sprite, and the Nymph of Lurleiberg is, in fact, a German river sprite. Abby also appears to have played the harp, as well as the piano; even though Mathew has used literary license to give her a "lute," the statue actually holds a lyre. In 1844 (the year before "The Raven" was published) Mathew wrote a magnificent poem of tribute to Abby's developing spirituality (with no humorous elements) comparing her to a "Spirit Lyre." Probably, this poem was written some years after "The Raven," when the shock of Abby's death had worn off somewhat, and he was able to think in terms of her spiritual life on earth, and in heaven.
Music opening this page: "Death Letter Blues," performed by Gove Scrivenor, on his album, "Heavy Cowboy"